"As Much as I Can" represents breakthrough programming that echoes the key research findings from the ACCELERATE! Initiative and amplifies the voices of Black gay men living with or affected by HIV. The event first debuted in Baltimore and Jackson, Mississippi, in January 2017.
"As Much as I Can" invites audiences into the lives of four Black gay men, exploring the complex relationships they have to faith, family, community, friends and themselves. Audiences are also invited to experience the disruptions, dreams, disappointments and resiliencies of these men’s lives.
The stories told in "As Much as I Can" are based on real shared, lived experiences from Black gay men of Baltimore and Jackson. Community captains — Black gay men living in Baltimore and Jackson — facilitated community-listening sessions where men shared their experiences, and these stories serve as the basis for many of the scenes and interactions in the immersive experience.
Read what people are saying about As Much as I Can:
- Black Gay and Bisexual Men Create an Immersive, Intimate Performance in Two Southern Cities
- Stories of Black Gay Men in the South are Seldom Told, Until Now
- All the World’s a Stage: ACCELERATE!’s “As Much As I Can” Amplifies the Voices of Black Gay Men through the Arts to Expand the Dialogue About HIV
Immersive theater experiences are designed to break down “the fourth wall,” placing viewers in the midst of the action, giving them the opportunity to explore settings and human interactions as if they were experiencing them firsthand. This approach triggers an emotional and cognitive response that is unique from passive viewing and has been shown to change how the subject and/or subject matter are perceived.
"As Much as I Can" was co-created with and about the Black gay men of Baltimore and Jackson. The immersive experience was conceived, co-created and produced by Harley & Company, a NYC-based creative studio, with guidance from ViiV Healthcare and TCC Group, and is sponsored by ViiV Healthcare.
Aligned with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, ACCELERATE! is ViiV Healthcare’s four-year, $10 million commitment to support innovative community projects that focus on improving HIV outcomes for Black gay men in two cities hardest hit by HIV — Baltimore and Jackson.